March 15, 2010

10 Questions With Louis Dale

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Faced with the impending graduation of good friend and former “10 Questions Girl” Jasmine Marcus, Sun Sports Editor Alex Kuczynski-Brown had no choice but to tap a successor. While Jasmine will undoubtedly prove a tough act to follow, Alex thinks she’s found a replacement who’s up to the task in freshman Katie Schubauer: she’s young, she’s ambitious and she’s not afraid to ask the hard-hitting questions. In this special March Madness Edition of 10 Questions, Katie sits down with three-time First-team All-Ivy selection Louis Dale. They discuss everything from a certain Cornell rite of passage Lou has yet to complete, to real-life “bromance” and Lou’s strategy for wooing women (hint: it’s all in the pick-up line –– or maybe not).

1.   First of all, are you excited for the Tournament?

I am. I’m ready to get going. It should be fun, especially since it’s my last year and it could potentially be my last game.

Hopefully not, though.

Fingers crossed … and toes.

And the national media keeps making a big deal about how you guys all live together and are such good friends. Do you think that’s what makes you such a good team?

I definitely think it helps. Being around each other all the time –– it makes for having fun. I think us being close friends allows us to make sure that basketball is always fun for us. But at the same time we know that we have to take care of business and work hard and all that sort of thing. It helps a lot with chemistry on the court.

But your room is in a separate little section than everyone else’s, right?

Yeah. [Senior tri-captain] Jon [Jaques] calls it the “Log Cabin Guest House.”

[Laughing] Why?

When we were picking rooms, mine came down to that room or another one upstairs and I thought that one was a little bigger and it had a kitchen right there, so I picked that one. But the walls are wood. So it looks like a log cabin, or maybe a sauna.

So you basically live in a sauna?

Pretty much. And my room is always super hot, too. So it actually is like a sauna. It’s pretty cool, though. It has the smell of fresh wood, so I feel like I live in the outdoors.

2. And how did you end up playing for Cornell?

In my senior year in high school, I wasn’t really being recruited that much, so I made a videotape of me playing basketball and decided I was going to send it to a few schools that … well how should I put it?

A few schools that you were qualified for?

Yeah. I sent it to three schools that I knew I could play at; three schools I wasn’t sure I could play at but I had a chance; and three schools where I had no chance.

Was Cornell in the third group?

Well, it wasn’t at first but then I got an application in the mail from Cornell, I guess for being a great student …

You’re a scholar AND an athlete.

You know it. Scholar comes first. And my mom told me it was a good school. I had never heard of it before.

You’d never heard of Cornell?

[Laughing] Nope. But I sent in my tape and the coaches liked it, I guess.

Clearly.

Yeah. Because I’m here! They just kind of called me and came down and watched me play some high school ball. Then I took my visit here and that was my first official visit and I fell in love with the school and I’m here today. I’m so happy I came.

I still can’t believe you’d never heard of Cornell before.

Yeah, I’m from Alabama and not that many kids from there end up at Cornell. I wasn’t really sure about the Ivy League. I knew about Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

Far inferior schools to Cornell, obviously.

Of course, of course. I knew Penn was supposed to be good at basketball but they didn’t want me.

Well, their loss.

Yup. I knew I didn’t really want to go to Princeton because … well just because.

Good choice.

3. So you’re from Alabama. Are there no pools there? I heard that you haven’t passed the swim test.

Oh man. Yeah, the swim test.

Do you know how to swim at all?

I know how to go forward, like on my stomach. I can do that with ease. But I never really got the hang of swimming on my back.

Did you try to take it?

Yeah. I knew going in that I didn’t want to drown, first of all.

Yeah, I knew that going into mine, too.

[Laughing] Yeah, so I went in to take it with my friend [junior] Max [Groebe] who’s on the team. He’d already taken it but he just wanted to do it just because.

He wanted to take the swim test just for fun?

Yeah, he came with me for moral support. He’s a good guy [puts his hand over his heart].

How touching.

Yeah. So I jumped in the pool in the lane closest to the side –– just in case –– and I swim across perfectly and Max was impressed because I beat him down. And then I tried to swim on my back and I was freakin’ out. So I just stopped and got out of the pool and I said, “I can’t do this.”

Well what are you going to do?

Well, I haven’t taken any swim classes so I guess after basketball season I’m going to have to learn backstroke. If anyone on the swim team wants to help me out let me know because graduation is right around the corner.

It’s kind of weird, especially freshman year. I was definitely the shortest. There was no one even close to my height. We’d all walk around and people would come up to us and ask us if we played basketball. Then they’d look at me in the back and say, “Is he the manager?” But I’ve gotten used to it by now. It’s pretty cool.

That must be especially weird when you’re with Jeff Foote.

Yeah, it’s cool. I come up to his chest. He just towers above me. Everyone knows him because he’s so tall … and he’s a good basketball player. But he’s just so tall.

5. What are some of your other hobbies besides basketball?

I used to be really into magic tricks. I only know a few card tricks now, but I used to be super into it. I would read Harry Houdini biographies and stuff. I also like video games.

Your friends don’t think you’re very good at them, though. Just saying.

I am good at video games.

Your friends think otherwise, saying you’re particularly bad at Supersmash Bros?

Okay, I’ve never played it before. Everyone else had played it when they were a kid, so I’m a little behind on that. But that’s the only game I’m not good at.

What about Madden?

I like to think I’m pretty good. I have a few battles with [my friends] John Afriyie and Sal Lopes. I go over to his house and play. John’s beaten me the last two times and he likes to rub it in my face but the overal

l record has to be like me, 32 wins to maybe five losses. He wins once every blue moon, I guess, but Sal never beats me.

6. What’s going on with this “bromance” between you and teammate Jon Jaques?

I guess [former 10 Questions Girl] Jasmine’s a little upset because that’s his girlfriend and I take so much of his time away, so too bad for her. This little “bromance” we have … it’s been four years so I got the edge on her. She hasn’t known him quite as long as I have but she’s also a girl so …

She has that going for her.

Yeah. But he’s one of my best friends. Freshman year, we were roommates so we just got really close.

And I hear you guys go out to eat a lot, just the two of you?

Yeah, Jack’s Grill.

On average, how many times a week do you go there?

Yeah … I think they should change it to “Basketball Team Grill” because we go there all the time. I think we go there probably I’d say 5-6 times a week. There are seven days in a week so that’s a lot.

I’ve never been there.

Mmmm you should try it. They have good burgers.

Okay.

And Cajun fries, too.

Okay, I’ll take your word for it.

7. Also concerning “bromances,” I’ve also been told about a little man-crush you have on Shia LaBeouf. What’s going on with that?

[Laughing] Oh man. I think he’s a really good actor and we were watching Transformers and I was like, “He’s funny. I think he’s funny.” And some of the other guys were like, “No, he’s not funny at all.” But he is!

So you were just sticking up for him.

Yeah. He’s witty. He’s witty on the go.

And you admire that?

I do. I don’t know about a “man-crush.” That’s a little extreme, but I do like him. And Transformers — I like that movie.

Did you like the second one?

I can’t complain when Megan Fox is in the movie.

Well, I thought the first one was a lot better.

Yeah, the first one was better, but it is what it is. And I like Megan Fox.

And Shia.

And Shia, yeah.

8. I don’t know if you know our sex columnist, Jeff K …

Yeah, I know ‘em.

Well, he has a theory that athletes who get national attention also get a lot of ladies. From your experience, is that true?

It could be for some people. It just depends if you’re outgoing and stuff. I mean, it definitely helps but no one is really … you know …

Throwing themselves at you guys?

[Laughing] Yeah, I don’t think that’s really the case, but I don’t think it can hurt you to get national attention.

So it’s definitely a plus.

Yeah, the national attention does help.

Do your pick-up lines help, too? Apparently you have some pretty good ones.

[Laughing] Here’s the deal with that. So [more laughing] after practice, [senior center] Jeff [Foote] and I always shoot half-court shots. Well, he shoots from the 3-point line on one end and I shoot from the 3-point line on the other. And the first person who makes it, wins. And that person gets to make a bet.

And this has to do with pick-up lines because … ?

I’m getting there. So I lost. And the bet was I had to go up to some girl and say whatever pick-up line Jeff wanted, and I had to go say it to some random girl. We just happened to be in New York City for the Holiday tournament and we were coming back from a Knicks game. We were in Borders waiting on the bus and he picked these girls and he was like, “This is what you gotta say.” So I went up to them and [laughing] I was like, “Hey, baby … ”

Wow, aggressive.

[Laughing] No, not “Hey baby,” actually. I said, “Hey, are you from Tennessee?” and she said, “No, what gives you that impression?” and I said, “Because you’re the only ‘10’ I see.”

What a charmer.

Yeah, it was a little embarrassing with the whole team watching, but it was fine because she was cool with it. She said, “I hadn’t heard that before,” and I told her that that was my original line that I came up with. No big deal.

What about the “Lou Lean?” Apparently that’s your signature move?

[Dale leans one arm raised against the wall]. It’s like this. Well, it varies sometimes. Normally there’s a female here [points to area between himself and the wall]. I’ll just lean like this and have a casual conversation. But everyone calls it the “Lou Lean” because they think I’m trying to hook up with the girl, or woo her, or something. It’s just comfortable for me.

And where’d you learn that? Did it just develop over time?

I don’t know. It’s probably from Fresh Prince. I’m a big Fresh Prince/Will Smith fan. That’s where I got my pick-up lines from.

9. Your friends have this saying that you’re “always last to the party.”  What does that mean?

Well, for some reason, I’m always out of it or not paying attention. But I want to be a part of the joke. I want to know what’s going on. So if I don’t hear it, I’ll ask what it was about and everyone just shakes their heads and goes, “Always last to the party.” Or, somebody will say a joke referencing something that happened in practice or in a game like, “Oh, did you see [sophomore guard] Chris [Wroblewski] make that guy fall?” or something. And then two minutes later, I’ll get so excited and say, “Do you remember when Chris made that guy fall?!” and everyone will say, “Always last to the party.”

10. Which other team do you like to hang out with the most?

I’m going to have to go with the cheerleaders. Some people might not think they’re a real varsity sport, but they think they are.

Do you think they are?

Yes. They cheer and do flips and stuff. And we need it.

Katie can be reached at kschubauer@cornellsun.com. Email her if you’re on the swim team and would like to help Lou pass his swim test before he graduates.

Original Author: Katie Schubauer